31.

I celebrated my 31st birthday on Monday. 30 was so good to me. School. Running. Travel. Family. I couldn’t have asked for a better year. There’s a lot of pressure for 31 to live up to 30. The final days of 30 weren’t particularly balanced. So far 31 has been a little crazy too. You know my life is a little out of whack when I’m not blogging on Sundays. I love taking the time to reflect on the previous week, and if I don’t make time for that it’s a good sign I’m taking too much on. But August is a busy time in the ed world, and I know calm is coming. Probably not till October. But it’s coming! And I love spending time at EQ3. I enjoy the process of gearing up for a school year. Check out our growing team 🙂

Summer Professional Development is now officially over. Our teachers participated in dozens of sessions. I felt a little hypocritical leading the work-life balance session. Balance means sometimes you swing in one direction, right? Last week was especially booked with a Neighborhood Council Meeting Monday night for our permanent building approval process and Parent Orientation on the evenings of  Wednesday and Thursday. I didn’t get what I need to be balanced. A nice post-work run, cooking dinner and having dinner with Brent, and some time to unwind on the couch. This week was pretty insane too. School starts Tuesday, and we had to finish moving into our new location while preparing lessons and content for our new grade-level.

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Oh, back to my birthday, check out the beautiful cake they got Cecilia our new yoga teacher and I from JJ Bakery. We’re birthday twins 🙂

Here are a few shots from some of our sessions this summer. Here we are book studying at a staff. This summer we read Helping Children Succeed. Highly recommended.

More team building. I had challenges in ziploc bags and a bunch of materials. As a team they had to build something. Here is the first grade team building a fashion accessory .

Coleen came to Equitas to lead us in Dynamic Mindfulness training.

We also spent a lot of time physically moving into our new site. Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 8.57.03 PM.png

And coming up with logistics and transition plans. IMG_4988.JPG

Summer has been a lot of work, but play too!

Last weekend I went to Michigan to see the family before school starts. When in Michigan you have to stock up on Zingerman’s.

Colby and Miles 🙂

We did an early birthday celebration at Bestia. Check out this lobster toast!

I always go with cocktails at Bestia.

And the new carpool which now includes Cecilia, our new Playa buddy, means more morning coffee dates.

Summer in LA means time at the beach. Brent loves his boogie board. 

Marta, Brent, and I went to Gjelina on the night of my birthday.

And this mushroom toast. Oh my goodness it had chunks of garlic and the bread was so crispy and it was smothered in mushrooms. Gotta love the Jonathan Gold spots.

We had our Growing Greatness launch the school year party on Thursday. Here we are invading the photo booth.FullSizeRender.jpg

2 days until the 2016-2017 school year officially begins. I can’t wait to welcome our scholars back. And I love spending time with these lovely ladies…

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Yup, we’re the unicorn and fairy school.

Oh, and because this is a running blog I should probably throw something in running. Got my photos back from San Fran. Here I am getting to the finish. race_2167_photo_40233316.jpg

Here we are with Nike Run Club in Santa Monica. Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 6.53.38 PM.png

Didn’t really expect to have a photographer on my Saturday morning run.
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So my intentions for 31. This year I hope to focus on taking time for rest and practicing mindfulness. I love being restless and being on the go, but I really need to learn to slow down and relax. I’m going to try to do something daily that is calming and specify it in my passion planner. Yesterday Cecilia, Alaina, and I got massages. Today I’m going to church. I’ve recruited teachers to join in on mindful mornings on Wednesdays for some meditation. We’ll see how this goes, I just know I need it. Especially this time of year.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!

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It’s Taper Time!

Am I the only runner that actually enjoys the taper? I’m still running, but far less and I love the extra time. I also love knowing that my legs are recovering and resting up for the big day. Ahh I’m getting so excited! The ten day forecast is up, and it’s looking good! For once I’d like to run a race that isn’t 85 degrees or windy and rainy. Fingers crossed!

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 7.15.54 AMHere’s what I’ve been doing with my extra time…

Brent and I went to College Station, Texas last weekend for the A&M/Alabama game. Despite the loss we had fun drinking Texas beers, eating BBQ and catching up with old friends. I randomly ran into Brooke Alexander, a friend from high school in England. Small world.

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With less running there is more time for Yoga. Monday I went on an easy three mile run in Manhattan Beach before yoga class. The sun was setting as I ran down the strand. It was beautiful. I’m also loving Tamal’s class at The Green Yogi.
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Tuesday we had to cancel school because the power was out. I’m thankful I love my job so much that this made me sad. Our scholars are learning to read, which is a little hard to do when they’re not at school!

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Tuesday night I went watchless at track. It was very liberating and forced me to take it easy. We did a bunch of 200s, some 400s and 800s. 1488039_10153758287812491_1252563774566048992_n

On Wednesday my co-workers and I decided to be twinsies.

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On Wednesday night Ashley, Alaina, I and the boys went to Baco Mercat for dinner (yup, working down the Jonathan Gold list) then to the Sound of Music at the Ahmanson. Oh The Sound of Music! Brings back so many happy childhood memories!maxresdefaultAt Baco Mercat I had the Double Mushroom Coca and the Under the Volcano cocktail. I was worried the flatbread would be a little boring, but the marinated shiitakes and criminis with chili flakes and fontina was so flavorful..and the crust was perfect….chewy and crispy on the edges. I always go for spicy drinks…and the Under the Volcano did not disappoint. Brent had a Baco with a yummy pita like bread and rich sauce. Will definitely go back.

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Speaking of food and drinks, I finally tried the Moscow Mule at Playa Provisions with Brent. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it doesn’t taste strong. I got a little chatty after light salads and the Moscow Mule.


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Friday morning we recognized our Star Scholars who exemplify curiosity at Community Meeting. Did I mention I love my job? IMG_2243

And we went out for Brianne’s birthday at Plan Check on Fairfax. It’s a Jonathan Gold-er, and it was yummy and times with Brianne and the gang are always fun. I had the blue cheese burger, but I really don’t know if it’s Jonathan Gold worthy…

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OK, back to running…

My bib number for the New York Marathon is in the 5000s, so for some reason I am starting with the super fasties…which makes me really nervous. I’d love your advice…should I start further back? I don’t want to be passed the entire race! Or does this help me beat the crowds? Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 7.46.18 AM

Don’t mind if I do!

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I hope I look this good in my 70s.
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Papa met Hal Hidgon at the Chicago Marathon expo! Oh Hal! You’ve gotten me through many marathons 🙂FullSizeRender (76)

And I’m getting my final sports massage (sports torture) on Tuesday night. Hoping they fix these super tight hamstrings and glutes. They’ve got a long way to go next weekend!
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It’s currently Saturday morning and I’m not off running twenty something miles. I’m chillin on the couch and meeting Ellen for a run at 11:30, YES, 11:30 before CycleHouse. Will keep you posted on the taper.

Bestia, Beating Bordom + Boston?

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So I lied. I wasn’t going to post until after the half on Sunday but I have to tell you about Bestia. Oh Bestia. You really are living up to the hype. Four weeks of professional development for teachers begin on Monday, so Cecilia and I booked a reservation for six of us two months ago in anticipation of needing a celebration before the craziness begins. It’s been hectic at work getting everything ready for the new school year. The warehouse atmosphere and Italian comfort food made for a fun Thursday evening with friends in the Arts District. IMG_1315We ordered a lot of food…

  • Chicken Liver Crostino: chives, marjoram, aged balsamic, sea salt
  • Marinated Olives: cerignola, taggiasche, castelvetrano, gaeta, picholine (that means nothing to me)
  • Mussels and Clams: housemade spicy ‘nduja sausage, fennel seed, preserved orange, grilled bread
  • Grilled Beef Meatballs: braised beet greens, soffritto, tomatoes
  • Burrata Pizza: san marzano tomatoes, castelvetrano olives, oregano, fermented chilies
  • Pistaccio Pici Al Sugo Di Agnello: Lamb ragu, saffron, capra sarda, fig leaf, ground pistachios
  • Casarecce al Pomodoro: twisted semolina pasta, tomato sugo, fresh ricotta, basil oil
  • Valrhona Fair Trade Bittersweet Chocolate Budino: Salted caramel, cacao crust, olive oil and sea salt
  • Maple Ricotta Fritters: Maple butter ganache & sour cream and huckleberry jam ice cream
  • Butterscotch Coconut Tart: Coconut Sorbetto
  • I Am Sky: Vodka, strawberry syrup, cucumbers, mezcal, sea salt, lemon, blue thistle and cucumber
  • Oh Snap: Cap rock gin, velvet falernum, gran classico, snap peas, mint, salt, lemon juice, cracked black pepper
  • Slot Machine: Bourbon, banana liqueur, cynar, smoked cherries, cardamom bitters, lemon juice, tobacco essence

Going with a big group was perfect. We had seven of us, so we were able to sample a bunch of different food and drinks. My favorites….Ahh that chicken liver crostino. It was so flavorful I didn’t even get a picture, but I stole one from instagram and it’s below. I loved the lamb ragu with the homemade pasta and this was one of the first pizzas in LA that rivaled pizzas I’ve had on the east coast. And for dessert, the chocolate tart was perfectly sweet. Alaina, remember that time a piece fell in my shoe and you ate it? Yeah. It was that good. And I’m such a beer snob, but I’m really loving craft cocktails lately. I think my favorite was the I Am Sky. I guess what I really loved about Bestia was the food tasted authentic Italian. It wasn’t all about the chic vibe of the restaurant, the food tasted home cooked and felt like it was made with love and passion. Cheesy, but I really did feel like I was eating someone’s work of art. I may or may not have already booked another reservation for November…We have spots for 8 🙂 We HAVE to go back because they were out of the bone marrow.

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OK, back to running. My co-worker Maria recently started running and asked me how I dealt with boredom. Boredom!? I never get bored running! I’m always running with friends, tempo-ing to music, or listening to nothing and just processing the day. Sometimes, especially on easy days, I like to listen to podcasts. My favorites, Freakonomics and This American Life. How do you deal with runner boredom? IMG_1272Isn’t Playa del Rey beautiful? Sighted on my Thursday morning run. Too bad morning runs end next week. Back to school! 
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And while in Michigan I had to purchase Zingermans Marshmallows. This IS the marshmallow project in the Lowry household. I have to portion out Brent’s portion so he doesn’t eat all mine 🙂 FullSizeRender

And running wise I took it fairly easy this week…

  • Monday: Eight Mile Run with no watch
  • Tuesday: Five Mile Run with Marta in Venice/Santa Monica (8:35 Average Pace)
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Six Mile Run with no watch
  • Friday: Four Mile Run with Back on My Feet

And last, I need your advice. Should I run Boston in 2016? I asked Brent and he looked at me like a crazy person saying it was an honor to run and I should run it ever year I can, but then tonight on the way home from work Mama was like “Good thing you’re not running Boston as a first year principal.” I really don’t know, and registration is in September. What do you think? Should I run Boston?

Oh and FINAL last, teachers..we’re ready for you!FullSizeRender (53)